Saint Tropez france

The Complete Guide to Saint Tropez

Saint-Tropez has to be one of the prettiest coastal towns on the French Riviera. The home of the jet set, it’s become a legendary destination in its own right. Yes it’s flashy and on the more expensive side but it’s also incredibly pretty, authentic and has some stunning beaches to discover!

I’ve visited the town countless times over the past 8 years and it’s safe to say that I know it pretty well! In this guide I’ll share my experiences and recommendations on where to visit, eat and to stay.

old port
Saint Tropez French Riviera

What to Do in Saint Tropez

Saint Tropez is a small town but there’s plenty to see and do in the town. In this section I’ll tell you my recommendations on what to discover in the legendary town!

Walk Around Port

The yachts and motorboats will probably be the first thing that you see as you approach for the fabled town and they are a big part of Saint Tropez! The old port is right next to the old town and this is where you’ll find the really expensive, mega yachts. I always enjoy taking in the incredible engineering on these and you’ll generally see a few old fashioned sailing yachts in there too.

port saint tropez

Next to the huge port parking area, you’ll find the newer port which is full of smaller pleasure craft and bigger yacht rentals. It’s a great place to start your visit with a walk next to the sea over to the old town.

If you wander over to the northern edge of the port you’ll find the traditional fishing boats that are still used today. They frequently sell their fish just behind the legendary Café Sénénquier at the fish market.

view from port of saint tropez

Just next to the fishing boats you’ll find a raised viewing area (onto of the seawall protecting the port). Here you’ll have stunning views across the bay over to Sainte-Maxime and on a clear day, you’ll even see the French Alps!

Discover the Old Town

Despite the flashy bars and restaurants around the old port, you’ll find the backstreets in the old town are beautifully authentic. The buildings have a lovely chalky, summery hue to them and pretty much wherever you look, you’ll see flowers!

old town in Saint Tropez

I’d recommend walking past the cafés next to the port and wandering around up to the top of the town. There’s the beautiful Église Paroissiale Notre Dame de l’Assomption church to discover as well as the town hall of Saint Tropez.

At the northern side of the old town you’ll find a picturesque little bay (the Plage de la Glaye) which is a tiny beach. There’s a viewing spot and a bench to sit down and enjoy the view!

man relaxing saint tropez
view restaurant old town Saint Tropez

The old town itself is on the smaller side but I’d recommend just taking in the sights and enjoying the small, windy, cobbled streets. There’s also plenty of small boutiques to do some shopping and pick up a souvenir.

Have a Coffee at Café Sénéquier

One of the most famous and recognisable cafés in Saint Trope is Café Sénéquier. Its bright red terrace is hard to miss and it arguably has the best view on the port.

cafe senequier Saint Tropez

Their red, triangular tables and director chairs have become iconic and it’s the place to get a drink on the port.

senequier Saint Tropez inside

However be warned that their prices are eyewatering – even by Parisian standards! A pint of beer will set you back €22 and a latte is €10 so I’d recommend going for a coffee and watching the world go by!

rose wine cafe senequier

Discover the Place des Lices

Away from the port, in the middle of the old town you’ll find the town’s central square, the Place des Lices (pronounced leese). The large square hosts fairs, pétanque competitions and flea markets.

place des lices Saint Tropez
la tarte tropezienne Saint Tropez

It’s also where you’ll find a lot of designer brand boutiques (Dior, Channel and Louis Vuitton). There’s also plenty of cafés, restaurants and bars lining the place including the famous Dior Café and the Jaquemus Café.

On the northern side you’ll find the well known La Tarte Tropézienne Pâtisserie where you can buy a Tarte Tropézienne. This is a dessert that was invented by Alexandre Micka who was a polish immigrant who started a patisserie shop in the town. The dessert is a cream filled brioche bun and it’s delicious! I’d definitely recommend trying one out when you’re in the South of France.

Visit the Citadelle de Saint-Tropez

The Citadelle de Saint-Tropez is a large 17th century fort that’s situated on top of the hill above the town. It was built to defend the town and the coastline against raids from pirates and the Ottomans.

citadelle de Saint-Tropez

It takes about 15 minutes to reach the top of the hill from the Place des Lines (it can be a challenge when it’s 30c!). At the top you’ll get amazing views across the bay and down the coastline.

In 2002 the Museum of Maritime history opened in the Citadelle. This small museum contains exhibitions on the history of the town from a maritime perspective. It costs €4 to enter and a full tour takes around 30 minutes.

Museum of Gendarmerie & Cinema of Saint Tropez

A particularly French attraction in Saint Tropez that’s worth mentioning is the Musée de la Gendarmerie & du Cinéma Saint-Tropez. Mainly focused on the 1964 cult and comedy classic, Le gendarme de Saint-Trope, the museum is in French only and I wouldn’t recommend visiting unless you’re a French speaker and love French cinema!

Saint Tropez museum of gendarmerie

Where to Eat & Drink


There are plenty of great restaurants in Saint Tropez – in the old town, on the port (with picture perfect views) or even beyond. Here’s a round up of favourite eating spots in the town.

restaurants Saint Tropez auberge de la mole
Fillet of Beef with Foie Gras at Auberge de la Mole

Restaurants on the Port

  • Café Sénéquier: Great for classic French food. The legendary café on the port front has a fantastic view across the old port. As previously mentioned it is expensive but the food is well done. It’s classic French all the way and their entrecôte steak (ribeye) is very well done.

  • Le Girelier: Great for seafood. Le Girelier specialises in local seafood. It’s not too flashy but it is very smart and is on the more expensive side.

  • Homer: Perfect for a quick lunch. I’ve not tried Homer is Saint Tropez but I have tried their awesome lobster rolls in Paris. Their lobster rolls are filling and super high quality ingredients. – soft brioche buns are toasted on butter and a creamy lobster and crayfish filling is topped with freshly minced chives.

  • Le Quai: Great for partying. This is really a party restaurant at night. There’s DJs, live music and performances. Expect dancing on tables late at night! Prime views of the super yachts behind and the food is decent (don’t expect anything foodie here though!

Restaurants in the Old Town & Beyond

  • La Ponche: Refined French food with plenty of incredible seafood. The outside terrace has a fantastic view too.

  • Verde Beach: Incredible cooking on the beach of Pampelonne. Great for lunch eating some really well done food. Party restaurant vibes with loud music from 3pm onwards.

  • La Serena: Perfect for a relaxing beach side lunch. Located on the Plage de Pampelonne, La Serena has some great beach club style food on offer.

  • Auberge de La Mole: Located 30 minute drive outside of Saint Tropez in a small village called La Mole. Their set menus are outrageously good value and you’ll eat so well here. Confit duck, beef fillet with foie gras and the most amazing chocolate mousse.

For more in-depth reviews, check out our guide to the Best Restaurants in Saint Tropez.


I’d generally recommend getting a coffee on the old port as the views are unbeatable. Café Sénéquier is a must do at least once for a coffee and to take in the atmosphere and people watch.

A little further down the quayside you’ll find the Bistrot du Port which has a large terrace with views over the port and down the quayside. It’s more relaxed and slightly cheaper than the other cafés on the port.

If you’re wanting a cheaper option, head to the north of the port to Kelly’s pub la Grotte. It’s a cheap little café/bar and still has great views over the port.

Beaches in Saint Tropez

The main beach of Saint Tropez isn’t actually that close to the town at all. The 4.5km/3 mile long Plage de Pampelonne is located around the headland from the town and is about a 10-20 minute drive depending on where you park.

moorea plage Saint Tropez
Moorea Plage
bagatelle Saint Tropez

It’s a beautifully long, sandy beach and is home to the best beach clubs in the South of France. These are perfect if you want to party, relax and eat well in comfort. They are expensive but they do make for a great day out.

I’ve written up a complete guide to the Best Beach Clubs in Saint Tropez but here’s a quick list of my favourites:

There are vast public areas as well as designated nudest sections (if that’s your thing!). The beach is patrolled by life guards and there are very limited public showers/toilets.

Tip: If you’re coming by car make sure to have at least €7 in cash for parking. Most of the car parks don’t accept card and the nearest ATM is in the town.

If you’re wanting a more natural beach experience then I’d advise hiking across to the Plage des Canoubiers which is about a 30 minute walk from the Place des Lices.

Day Trips

You can take day a trip out to neighbouring villages from Saint Tropez although this is only really possible if you’re driving.


To the south of Saint Tropez, up in the hills, is the very pretty town of Ramatuelle. It’s definitely worth a visit if you feel like exploring the local area.

It’s picture perfect and has many viewing spots across the bay and to the Plage de Pampelonne. Explore the old, windy Provençal village streets and take in the sights.

Saint Tropez Ramatuelle day trip

On Thursdays and Sundays from 8am to 1pm you’ll find the local market on the Place de l’Ormeau. There’s plenty of stands selling local wine, cheese and charcuterie. During the months of July and August, there’s an evening market with live music every Friday from 8-11pm.

Port Grimaud

Port Grimaud is a beautiful small seaside village near Saint Tropez and it can only really be described as the Venice of the French Riviera.

The winding village runs around a series of canals, islands and bridges and is stunning. Small, colourfully painted Provençal houses are adorned with bright flowers.

It’s relatively small and you can walk around the village in an hour. I’d suggest stopping off for lunch at La Caravelle or grabbing a coffee or drink at Grimaud Beach.

Where to Stay

There are some incredible hotels in Saint Tropez but be aware that given the town’s popularity, they can be quite expensive. Here are some hotel suggestions:

Bastide du Port: This is a lovely 4* hotel located at the entrance to the town. It’s got free parking and is very easy to get to. The rooms are modern and the breakfast terrace is very nice!

Villa Marie: If you’re looking for something ‘quiet rich’ then Villa Marie is an amazing 5* hotel to stay at. Located above the town they’ve got a free shuttle to take you down to the town whenever you want.

FAQ: Saint Tropez

Is it Worth Visiting?

Yes I do think Saint Tropez is worth visiting if you’re planning a trip to the Riviera. It’s not the largest place but the back streets in the old town are stunning. Despite it’s fame it does retain plenty of its authentic Côte d’Azur charm and you’ll find plenty of locals there too.

However to be warned that it is flashy and some of the restaurants around the port are very ‘nouveau riche’ but they’re plenty of authentic, genuine eating spots away from the crowds.

Given its position I’d argue it’s worth visiting if you have a car or are staying in local area for a while. It’s difficult to reach by public transport and that means it can be a step too far for a day trip.

Tip: During the summer, the roads get very busy near the town. If you’re driving in for the day, I’d advise that you aim to arrive before 10am.

How Long Does it Take to Visit?

Seeing everything in the town of Saint Tropez can easily be done in 1 day. I’d definitely suggest taking 1 day to enjoy the Plage de Pampelonne and the surrounding towns of Ramatuelle and Port Grimaud.

2 days is easily enough to cover the area and is a perfect amount of time to budget for your itinerary.

Which Airport is Closest?

Nice and Marseille airports are the closest commercial airports – they’re roughly the same distance to Saint Tropez.

You can reach Saint Tropez by car in about 1h40m-2h depending on traffic from Nice or Marseille airports. Taxis would be well over €250 one way.

Public transport is unfortunately not direct and there’s no high speed (TGV) railway to Saint Tropez. It takes over 4 hours from either airport and requires several changes for buses and trains.

Saint Tropez does have its own airport which is about a 30 minute drive away but this is a private airport serving helicopters and private aircraft.

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